I recently finished a book that was given to me, and I often find that when books are picked out for me it gives me some of my best reads. It certainly wasn't something I would have picked up for myself. My Aunt Kathy, who is very dear to me, said she had spotted it at a local book store, thought of me, and sent it my way. The book was called The Soul of a Dog by Jon Katz. I truly can't remember the last time I finished a book so quickly! (Granted I was traveling and I had a solid 4 hours to dedicate to reading) But still! I finished this book in less than 24 hours.
I was very deeply moved by the author's chronicles of the animals he has come to know and love on his farm. And more than that he poses a very good and deep question.... Do animals have souls? ( I think my aunt knows my answer to this question, thus why she sent me the book) Each of the chapters narrates his stories of one of the animals on his farm. (a chicken, a dog, a cat...ETC ) ... It's not just about dogs! Each story chronicled his understanding of the soul of an animal through the events and peculiarities of each of one of their lives.
It brought up a lot of interesting questions and feelings for me. Do animals really have souls? I guess that's a tough question. In short, in my mind they must, for one simple fact... How can you have a personality without a soul? I just don't believe its possible, and I don't think that any animal owner can deny the fact that each of their pets has a personality. But in the same sense I often wonder to what end... I mean do mice have souls? Do ants? Fleas?
It reminded me of my decision to try veganism almost 5 years ago. One of the hugely deciding factors for doing so, was that I couldn't differentiate between a cow and my dog curled up on the couch that I love so much. Meaning that I thought hey, I wouldn't eat a dog, why would I eat a cow, or a pig or a lamb ? And I was shocked when I came to that realization, that I hadn't come to it sooner. I guess everyone has their own reasons and their own AHH HAA moment. I wonder if in order to really fully embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle you almost have to beleive that animals have a soul in some sense of the word?
You HAVE to read this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and despite the somber note of this blog entry, the book was quite uplifting and inspiring.
..... Thanks Aunt Kath :)
Happy Reading <3